The website and blog of writer Austin Wilson. Comics and prose. Stories from wherever they can be found.

How Do You Write?

Dennis Lehane chatted with Catherine LaSota over at LitHub, and there are more than a few reasons you should read the interview. One of the biggest, for me, was when Lehane talked about his process.

I’m not very good at understanding my own process, because I don’t really want to. I’m superstitious about it.
— Dennis Lehane

Lehane continued on, saying, "I feel like if I understand it too much, I’ll get into that place where I think there’s a formula. And all formula leads to is something that’s formulaic. I try and lean back from that as much as I possibly can. But I do know that usually when I write a book, I kind of know one thing at the beginning and I know one thing at the end. If I’m lucky, I might know something in the middle. But otherwise I don’t know shit. It’s always work for me. It makes it a laborious process for me. My output is probably half of what my peers’ is, but…

I've rocketed away from dissecting process more than a few times and Lehane nails why I was doing so. Or at least he definitely nails why I told myself I was doing so.  I fear that's all a way of avoiding harder work, in my case anyway. Writing something that's been meticulously plotted - some people make freaking diagrams! - means doing more than sitting down and going. And sometimes just sitting down and going is harder than I can handle. It helps when someone who's succeeding gives you a peek into their world, and even a small corner of the place seems similar to yours.

Am I One Now? - Richard Russo

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